UAE | Health

UAE pioneers public health facility for men

Initiative seeks to address 5-year difference in life expectancy compared to women

  • By Noor Nazzal, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 17:47 November 24, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Al Muhaisnah Health Centre where the Men’s Health Clinic was officially opened on Saturday. The average lifespan of men in the UAE is five years less than that of women.

Dubai: The world’s first public health facility exclusively for men has opened in the UAE. Specialising in male-related diseases, the Men Health Clinic was officially opened in Al Muhaisnah Health Centre in Dubai Medical District on Saturday.

The Ministry of Health clinic is the first specialising in men’s health within the public sector. It will provide world-class health services and treatment while also raising awareness about men’s health issues within the community.

The move sits well with the expert assessment that the average life span of women in the UAE is five years more than men.

“We decided to open this clinic to promote awareness about male-related disease. We already have children’s and women’s health departments and clinics in the ministry but none that are specialised in men’s health,” said Dr Mustafa Al Hashimi, deputy director of Dubai Medical District.

Dr Al Hashimi told Gulf News that the clinic aims to raise awareness about the factors contributing to health risks for men as they tend to refrain from visiting the doctor until they actually get sick. “We want them to come to the clinic before they reach that stage, we want them to know about the importance of prevention and take responsibility for their sexual and social behaviour to live a healthier life,” he said.

The clinic will also train doctors and nurses to enable them to deal with male-related diseases through its partnership with the International Men’s Health Association which will see both sides collaborating to hold training sessions, conferences and workshops.

“We are also starting up a computer programme in order to create a database of diseases that threaten men’s health. We hope to compare this data with international databases in order to monitor our progress,” said Dr Al Hashimi

Professor Ridwan Shabsigh, president of the International Men’s Health Association and professor of clinical urology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Cornell University in New York, stressed the importance of the UAE’s initiative.

He highlighted statistics which show that men have a lower life expectancy than women in the UAE. “There is a five-year gender gap between men and woman in the UAE where woman live until they are 79 years old and men only reach 74. This is contributed by four main components: male gender specific diseases that are driven by the anatomy of men, non-gender specific diseases that have high prevalence in men, health behaviours that are unique to men and lastly social situations with special impact on men.”

The announcement of the men’s clinic was made during the first scientific forum to raise awareness of health diseases related to men under the patronage of Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, the minister of culture, youth and community development. The event was inaugurated by Nasser Khalifa Al Budoor, the assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Health.

Some conditions that typically affect men include prostate diseases, male infertility and problems brought on by low testosterone levels.

 

— Noor Nazzal is an intern at Gulf News

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